BERLIN - The townâ€™s 2017 Grand List of taxable property was up by 5.24 percent over the previous yearâ€™s, thanks to a jump in real estate assessments resulting from revaluation.
The latest Grand List, based on assessments as of Oct. 1, 2017, shows a total assessment of $2.3 billion in taxable real estate, personal property and motor vehicles in town, according to Town Assessor Joe Ferraro.
â€śIt shows the (real estate) market is growing,â€ť Ferraro said adding that $92 million, or 5.03 percent, of real estate property taxable income was added to the list.
Personal property assessments were up $7.6 million, or 4.04 percent, and motor vehicle assessments rose $16.1 million, or 8.44 percent.
The net growth accounts for manufacturing, senior, veteran and disabled exemptions, as well as tax-exempt properties, such as nonprofits and churches, Ferraro said.
Contributing to the real estate increase is that residents are making improvements to their existing homes, Ferraro said.
Construction of new buildings is also happening, Ferraro said.
He added that commercial property assessments were up 20 percent, which he attributed to lower interest rates.
With the increased assessments, Ferraro said, $3.4 million in additional revenue can be generated by applying the current tax rate of 31.61 mills.
Last yearâ€™s Grand List generated over $500,000 in additional revenue when the same tax rate was applied, he added.
Ferraro said the assessorâ€™s office did a portion of the revaluation work last year, so it cost $56,000 for an outside company to do the remainder of the job. In contrast, the town spent $150,000 in 2012 when an outside company did all of the revaluation work.
â€śIt was challenging,â€ť said Ferraro of taking the revaluation process in house. â€śI got a good staff.â€ť
Taxpayers who wish to contest their assessment can request a meeting with the Board of Assessment of Appeals between now and Feb. 20. Those requests are made through the assessorâ€™s office.
Once a hearing is requested, the town clerk will mail a date of the hearing with the Board of Assessment Appeals. The hearings are likely to be held in March and April.
Once the Grand List number is final, hopefully by May, Ferraro said, the Finance Department will use the figure to determine the tax rate for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.